Volcano Islands
Volcano Islands
Native name:
Ogasawara LocationVolcanoIs.PNG
Location in the Pacific
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates24°46?N 141°18?E / 24.767°N 141.300°E / 24.767; 141.300Coordinates: 24°46?N 141°18?E / 24.767°N 141.300°E / 24.767; 141.300
Total islands3
Area32.55 km2 (12.57 sq mi)
SubprefectureOgasawara Subprefecture
Population380 (January 2008)
Kita Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima
Minami Iwo Jima

The Volcano Islands (?, Kazan Rett?) or Iwo Islands (?, I?-rett?) are a group of three Japanese islands south of the Bonin Islands that belong to the municipality of Ogasawara, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan.[1][2] The islands are all active volcanoes lying atop an island arc that stretches south to the Marianas. They have an area of 32.55 square kilometres (12.57 sq mi), and a population of 380.


The Volcano Islands are:

  • Kita Iwo Jima (? Kita-I?-jima or Kita-I?-t?, literally North Sulphur Island), 5.57 square kilometres (2.15 sq mi), 792 metres (2,598 ft) (Sakaki-ga-mine)
  • Iwo Jima ( I?-jima or I?-t?, literally Sulphur Island) 20.60 square kilometres (7.95 sq mi), 166 metres (545 ft) (Suribachi-yama)
  • Minami Iwo Jima (? Minami-I?-jima or Minami-I?-t?, literally South Sulphur Island) 3.54 square kilometres (1.37 sq mi), 916 metres (3,005 ft)

Farther north but in the same volcanic arc is:

There is a Japan Self-Defense Forces air base on Iwo Jima with a staff of 380. It is located in the village of Minami (Iwo Jima village). Other than that, the islands are uninhabited.


The first recorded sighting by Europeans was in October 1543 by Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre on board of carrack San Juan de Letrán when trying to return from Sarangani to New Spain.[3] Iwo Jima was charted as Sufre, the old Spanish term for sulphur.

The islands were uninhabited until 1889, when the two northern islands were settled by Japanese settlers from the Izu Islands. They were annexed by Japan in 1891.[1][2]

The population was about 1,100 in 1939, distributed among five settlements: Higashi, Minami, Nishi, Kita and Motoyama (meaning "East", "South", "West", "North" and "Mountain of Origin", or central mountain) on Iwo Jima; and two settlements on Kita Iwo Jima: Ishino-mura ("Ishino village"; Ishino is a surname) and Nishi-mura ("West village"). The municipal administration office was located in Higashi until 1940, when the municipality was integrated into the administration of Ogasawara, Tokyo.

Iwo Jima was the site of the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, and the island group came under the United States administration. The Volcano Islands were returned to Japanese administration in 1968.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "?" [Volcano Islands]. Nihon Daihyakka Zensho (Nipponika) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 153301537. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b "?" [Volcano Islands]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Brand, Donald D. The Pacific Basin: A History of its Geographical Explorations The American Geographical Society (New York, 1967) p.123.

See also

Media related to Volcano Islands at Wikimedia Commons

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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